Posted in memoir

Defining Fictionalized Memoir

So in one corner, there’s fiction. Made up, though just as often as not, inspired by some real stuff. In the other corner, memoir. The Truth, capital T, unless specifically noted, liked “names changed to protect my ass.” But somewhere in the middle, there’s this weird subgenre called fictionalized memoir. What is it, and when do you use it?

Anita from Word Cafe says that a fictionalized memoir is a semi-autobiographical novel. She tells us that Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is a good example. Melissa of Networlding says, “From a writing perspective, the fictionalized memoir allows a writer to embrace the creative process without a disclaimer because the fiction techniques create a compelling story.” Adair of Writer’s Digest outlines why you might consider fictionalized memoir instead of memoir memoir, like “I am uncomfortable relying on my memory.” While Taylor at Lit Reactor talks about how autobiographical fiction can give the author more freedom while potentially requiring more skill to cull all but the best parts. I feel smarter already! But of course, only you can choose what’s right for you.

Keep on keepin’ on.

PS Heather on Slide Share made a cute lil thing you should check out, too.

Posted in Jobe Workshop Review

Step by Step Writing Class with Jobe: Reflection!

What a fantastic night with a fantastic group of people. Sci-Fi George, Romance Kim, and Poet Karen joined yours truly, Memoir Jobe! The conversation generated was so insightful and helpful, the writing written was so sparked and energetic and inspired! This was the most fun I’ve had in a minute.

I opened with introductions, as I always do, and then started with a super lame prompt because I was nervous and couldn’t find my notes. “I remember” was the awkward jump prompt in, but it went to great places from there. I told a little bit about Intention Inspired (I’ll do a blog post about just this later, but check it out, it’s cool). We discussed our strengths and weaknesses as writers. As always I had to also mention Nanowrimo.

From Writer’s Digest we took “Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for” and opened it up to any combination of personality/appearance of person you love/hate.

For future use: I loved the idea from Write to Done of the 7x7x7 exercise. I made sure to mention Writing Exercises from the UK, which has a TON of prompts. And Karen told us about a random generator, Watchout 4 Snakes. I forgot to mention Poets & Writers.

In a similar spirit as The Write Practice, we used random words and phrases I collected from spam emails to generate lists of options.

We started with sprints, just some really short timed writings to get us going:
Computers can beat humans at chess
my collection of photos & posters from   Israel.
Amorphous Distribution Transformer Core

I was so inspired by how open and positive the group was I felt we had to do writing exercises based on each person’s favorite genre! I daresay there were some unexpected and impressive results!

SCI FI prompts
prestressed spiral rib
for the widening of
is intended for
feel a little uneasy about
Here please find
for railway sleeper , electric

ROMANCE prompts
at war, with
More than 15 years
Family Promise
you know that we’ve saved you
View an example of a Premium listing
ice cream machine.

POETRY prompts
Afternoon of Magic
we have two types
reaching the people with
dots mosaic bathroom
The payment after satisfaction
pumps and parts

I ended with some creative non-fiction (my genre) prompts, which are less common online than you might think. My favorite is David RM, who has a number of different kinds of non-fic/prose prompts. We started with a light subject, “Opinion Prompt – Do convenience items better our daily lives or shortchange our life experience?” Then we continued to a heavy subject, “Opinion Prompt – Do you think that people have the right to decide when to end their life?” I mentioned And Then I Came Back, which I can’t wait to read after hearing Estelle Laura speak at LitFest.

We end on a personal and emotional prompt, and I was was so impressed by everyone there being so authentic:

“Write about an event or time that you made a deliberate change for yourself. Write about what motivated you to make the change, and how you think that change has affected your life.”

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I was so blessed by these passionate, open-spirited writers. ❤


Posted in Reviews, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts: Memoir Edition! w Jobe

My new best friend, David RM.

David RM totally rocks!!! Get random writing prompts every time you refresh the page! My first few included” “My life is made up of seconds,” “perfect job,” and (one that really got me writing) “A list of electronic devices owned over the years.” I used this fantastic site throughout Nano and plan to use it year-round.

I was always told that the difference between memoir and autobiography is that memoir is about a specific time or event or sequence or theme, whereas an autobiography sums an entire life in chronology. So you could write several memoirs about different parts of your life, but you would have just one autobiography. Creative Writing Now gives some examples of memoir topics, and Writer’s Digest gives a list to determine if you want to write your story as true (nonfic) or false (fic). If you’re writing in the genre of memoir, you might be used to seeing lots of prompts for fiction. So here’s a list just for you.

David RM’s memoir-specific prompts

Memoir of Transcendence and the Epic 10

Scholastic’s 20 (for kids but still good!)

Jeri Walker’s 52

Creative Writing Now’s 59

Holly Pappas with college assignment memoir prompts

Suzanne Fox’s 16 / 64 / 31 / 9 (do I say ‘hike’? I feel like I say hike…)

And if that’s not enough for you, well then, just head on over to The New York Times for 650 memoir prompts! That really ought to keep you busy for a bit, shouldn’t it?



Posted in Random Round Up

Random Round Up w Jobe

(This month “Fountain Pen Friday” will be replaced by “Random Round Up.” Stay tuned for more Fountain Pen Friday next month!)

Book Riot has the newest collection of 100 Must Reads for everybody who wants to read the weird stuff.

My Modern Met Selects suggests an interesting method of giving old books new life, is this awesome or horrible?

Get the inside scoop on the Confessions of a Reluctant Memoirist by Lucas Mann from LitHub!

Hope you enjoyed this Random Round Up! The featured image was found searching “random” on Google. Cheers!


Posted in Reviews

Jobe Reads Nick Flynn ABNISS

Howdy y’all. I’m sorry I haven’t been more active but now that I’m done with my thesis I should be able to be.
It took a long ass time but I finished reading my first book of the year. I blame thesis writing and reading sections of books and shit tons of articles that didn’t amount to a full book. I changed my 50 Book Pledge to a 25 Book Pledge in light of the year already being more than 1/8 over. (You don’t want to know all the weird math I just did.)
Recommended by my independent study prof Dr. Jennie Case, I read “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” by Nick Flynn. Depressing with bright moments. VERY well written. Creative non fic, it centers around an estranged father-son relationship. Chapters are super short, a page to three pages at a go. One main focus of the book is treatment of the homeless. After you read the book you should read this follow-up in Brevity. And don’t forget to follow him on Twitter if you go in for that sort of thing.
I forgot my own categories, (it’s been a rough couple months), so if anyone else has too, no worries. Here’s the link.

I’m going with #30 “A book about a character who is different from you.” Nick Flynn’s life involved a fair amount of drug and alcohol use, as well as some other stuff I have not experienced (no spoilers). It was interesting to read about someone on a life path so removed from my own. I’m definitely thinking about things in new ways after this, and it’s sparked some new activist interests.


In case you didn’t know, Nick Flynn is a huge big deal. He’s a memoirist and poet, and he’s done a lot of cool shit. The book of his that I read has even been turned into a movie. You can find out more about him here:

Until next time, My Lovelies.